Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Online event highlights accomplishments, struggles of queer women

Courtesy of Sharon McCutcheonon Unsplash.com
A woman covered in glitter in support of the LGBTQ+ community. These colors represent diversity and unity within the community.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Cerritos College found a unique way to acknowledge queer women in the community with a Zoom event held on March 9, called “Queer Nights Presents: Womyn’s History Month – Spill the Tea Sis.

The event kicked off with Erin Cole and Lance Kayser, both English professors at Cerritos College, sharing a list of famous women who were a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Many were also women of color.

The first woman on the list was Audre Lorde. She is self described as a black, lesbian, mother, warrior and poet.

“She is powerful. She’s not afraid to say things,” Cole said.

Lorde expressed how for someone to be open about their sexuality, especially in their work, was very important to the LGBTQ+ community because it helped shed away some of the fear and insecurity.

When looking more into her work, Kayser expressed how powerful Lorde was to give a platform to black women, especially in the 1970s, to be themselves and come out.

As the conversations continued throughout the evening, Ashley Thomas, a student at Cerritos, expressed her thoughts on labels and the context behind them.

She stated how nowadays people, especially queer women don’t really like to associate themselves with labels and what they identify as because you are either hated or loved for it.

Discussions were also happening on the struggles that women of color have in the community.

According to Thomas, there needs to be change in the society because there is already a struggle with being a girl in today’s society, now imagine being a person of color and also gay.

“It can be very hard on someone’s mental health,” Thomas said.

The LGBTQ+ community needs all the support in the world. Here is just a few ways you can do your part and be an ally. (Josselyn Garay)

As the list continued, a video of Sylvia Rivera, a transgender activist, was shared where she is shown at a 1973 pride rally being booed for being a trans woman.

“The 70’s and 80’s weren’t exactly the most open time period,” Kayser said.

This sparked the conversation of transphobia within the LGBTQ+ community.

Kayser said how it took a while for the Transgender community to be accepted, and while things have gotten better now, there is still so much to change.

“There is still some phobia going on,” said Kayser.

Another conversation sparked around the idea of “coming out” and how that effects women more than men in the community.

One student argued that women are not taken seriously as being part of the LGBTQ+ community without having announced that they are what they identify as.

There is this idea that if someone doesn’t “come out” then you don’t exist to the community and suddenly whatever it is you identify as, whether it be pan, bi, or lesbian, it then isn’t part of your identity.

Queer Nights Zoom calls will continue every second Tuesday of every month. The next event, ‘Queer Things Up’ is scheduled for April 13, 2021 at 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

It will be an arts expression night where everyone will be able to present any form of art piece that represents them.

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About the Contributor
Josselyn Garay
Josselyn Garay, Staff Writer
Josselyn Garay is a staff writer for Talon Marks is working on her AA in Journalism and is planning to transfer to Cal State Long Beach by 2021. Josselyn is from Compton and likes to be informed about the music industry and writing about it. She hopes to achieve her long life dream of being a radio interviewer like Zane Lowe.
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Online event highlights accomplishments, struggles of queer women